Higher education student newsletter: 22 July 2020

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

In last month’s newsletter we explained how from September students will learn using a mixture of campus-based and online teaching in line with the latest Government advice.
While lectures and assessments will mostly take place online, there will be some socially-distanced small-group teaching and laboratory sessions with access to arts studios, performance spaces and specialist teaching facilities. 
Your safety remains our top priority. In this newsletter I’ll share what’s happening behind the scenes to provide you with the best possible learning and studying experience this autumn.
We’re currently planning the semester 1 timetable. Our term dates for 20/21 remain unchanged. The start of the year will include your opportunity to attend a socially-distanced welcome event on campus, supported by further information and resources available online.. 
Support services including Progress Tutorials, HE Learning Mentors (HELMs) providing academic and wellbeing services, careers advice, financial support, and Students’ Union enrichment sessions, will be delivered remotely - with staff available online and via telephone and email. Limited campus access for face-to-face support will be available by invitation.
Library resources will be available online, with limited socially-distanced services available by invitation. 
When it comes to the campus, we’re designing new study space layouts to support active collaborative learning in a safe environment. Hand sanitiser will be readily available in every building, with one-way traffic flows where necessary for people to move around our buildings. We are also hoping to open car parks, reception desks and limited catering outlets from September.
The world is changing constantly – but we want to give you as much support and reassurance as to how we’re adapting to this new norm. That’s why we’re implementing a three-stage alert system for the 2020/21 academic year.
This will be adjusted based on government guidelines and give you a solid understanding of how your studies and student experience will be supported.
We are currently in a transition phase from Level 3 to Level 2.
We are anticipating entering into Level 2 at the start of the 2020/21 academic year closely following government guidance.

Finally, I encourage you to spend a few minutes reviewing the additional information below to find out more about services available over the summer to help you get ready for September and also to find out more about  financial support and bursaries. 

In addition, our Applicant and Student FAQ pages are regularly updated with information to help with your application and studies.

As always, thanks for being part of the B&FC community and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Cheryl Dunn
Vice Principal - Higher Education and Student Enhancement

What you need to know 

Flying Start: get ready for the new academic year

Between Monday 10 and Friday 21 August, B&FC's HELM team is hosting Flying Start, a series of free sessions helping you prepare for September.
Whether you're new or returning to higher education at B&FC, there's something to help you make the best start to the new academic year.
To browse the units and find out more about booking, please visit https://blackpool.ac.uk/highereducation/flying-start

Supporting your studies this summer

Whatever you’re doing this summer, we’re here all day on Fridays throughout July and August to help you succeed in your current studies.
Your HE Learning Mentors (HELMs) are available on Teams, email and by phone.

Whether you’re completing PMC or resit work or simply want to develop your skills before the new academic year – this is your time to get the support you need.
Here are some ways your HELMs can help:

  • Help you plan your time and keep motivated
  • Improve academic writing skills
  • Gain tips on proof reading and referencing strategies
  • Make the most of assignment feedback
  • Get ahead for next year

Email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk to set up a session between 8.30am and 4.30pm.
These sessions are offered as part of our Flying Start programme – workshops and support services getting you set for September.
Find out more about Flying Start.  

Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

We have been working hard over the past few months to acquire as many eBook versions of texts as we can and these can be found on our library catalogue or via the Ebsco discovery search in Moodle or Canvas.
The LRCs are currently closed to students but if you require assistance finding online eBooks and journals for your studies don't hesitate to email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk.

Students’ Union seeks summer reps

B&FC is seeking students to volunteer as student summer reps.
This comes at a time where the voice of students is even more imperative to enhancing how the College is planning to deliver education in the upcoming academic year.
As a student summer rep you may be expected to attend online virtual meetings to discuss and review College plans and documents. It is the responsibility of the student summer rep to attend these meetings and keep things discussed confidential.
The role of the student summer rep will last from now until September.
Apply to be a student summer rep.

Sign up for wellbeing sessions

  • July: Wednesdays
  • August: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

 Sessions take place between 9am and 5pm.
Student Counselling and Wellbeing Support continues to be provided as remote support throughout the summer.
You’ll receive tailored support - from single meetings to identify appropriate local and online services, to multiple counselling sessions.
To book an appointment, complete the Wellbeing online referral form.

Applying for student finance

You should by now have applied for student finance to cover your tuition fees and maintenance loan..
If you haven’t, don’t panic - but please apply as soon as possible to get everything ready for September.
If you need any help, contact the Careers Team:

Bursaries and scholarships for new students

Did you know, in addition to funding from Student Finance England, you may be eligible for one of three B&FC bursaries?
Bursaries include:

  • £500 Advantage Bursary: means-tested to help eligible students towards the cost of equipment
  • £1,000 Access Scholarship: available annually to eligible care leavers, estranged students or young carers
  • Opportunity Scholarship: funding tuition fees for up to five students from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds

B&FC bursaries and scholarships for new higher education students.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about studying at B&FC, we’re here to help.